Counter Offers and Career Suicide 2: Career Implications

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Before reading on the career implications of a counter offer, make sure you didn't miss part one of "Counter Offers and Career Suicide!"


Short-term and Long-term Implications

The short term and long term implications for accepting a counter offer are staggering. When considering the employee’s psyche, it feels great to put your boss in the unenviable position of groveling and begging to retain your services. The employee has believed for a while that he’s worth more and is continually frustrated when he gets passed over for promotion and special assignments. Now that he’s announced his resignation, the boss finally realizes just how vital he is.

Here’s the kicker though – it’s actually a con. It makes a lot of sense for the boss to just toss another 10-15% and a new title at the employee to appease him, rather than deal with the cost of replacing him immediately. This adjustment is just a short-term fix; it's a commonly accepted statistic that, 80% of employees that accept a counter offer leave within 8 months anyway, either voluntarily or involuntarily. This buys the boss some time to formulate a plan to replace the employee on his own terms.

The employee’s loyalty is already in question. Think about these scenarios:

  • Do you have school-aged kids? Have you ever asked to leave a little early on short notice to tend to a sick child or go to a school function? Good luck doing that again, because your boss will naturally think you’re interviewing somewhere.
  • Are you expecting an annual raise this year? Fat chance! You just got a 15% increase a couple months ago, why would you get yet another increase?
  • Don’t even think about putting in for that new position that just opened up within the company; you just got a big promotion and raise. You’ll need to "prove yourself" there for a few years before moving on.
  • Wondering why your co-workers have been avoiding you lately? They now resent you because you leap-frogged the senior employees with your little stunt.
  • A round of layoffs are on the horizon. Guess who’s on the “Most Likely to Get Cut” list?
  • Now that you have a much higher salary, expectations are going to be higher. You’ll need to shine brighter than ever, and one slip may be your last.

Most are flattered when they receive a counter offer but, given the circumstances, they should feel incredibly insulted! Where was this money a week ago? If he is really that valuable, then how come they waited until he decided to leave to offer this? Have they been lying to him the whole time? Cheating him? Let that sink in for a moment.

Stay tuned for Part 3 where we’ll discuss how to resign with class.


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